Crispy, crunchy, and juicy – celery is known as a salad ingredient. Generally, its stalks are consumed the most but you can also eat the leaves and roots of celery to get additional health benefits. This vegetable can be enjoyed in salads as well as cooked foods like celery soups. In addition to the vegetable, celery seeds are used as a spice and resemble cumin seeds in appearance. The other names for celery are ‘Ajmoda’ in Hindi, ‘Vamaku’ in Telugu, ‘Kaccharakku’ in Malayalam, ‘Ajamoda oma’ in Kannada, ‘Ajamoda’ in Gujarati, ‘Ajmod’ in Marathi, ‘Kernauli’ in Punjabi, and ‘Ajagandha’ in Bengali. Did you know that it has umpteen health benefits to offer? Let’s take a deep dive into the wonderful world of celery and how it can help us.
What Is Celery?
- Celery (Apium graveolens var.dulce) is a plant variety belonging to the Apiaceae family which also includes carrots, parsley, fennel, and caraway.
- It is commonly used as a vegetable and forms an important part of weight loss diet as it is low in calories and high in dietary fiber.
- There are generally two varieties of celery:
(i) Pale green pascal celery is most common and widely used
(ii) Golden celery is cultivated under a layer of soil to prevent it from developing and turning green.
- Just like other green vegetables, celery grows in bunches of long ribbed stalks with leafy tops.
- Its inner ribs are called celery hearts, and wild celery is known as smallage. It has a bitter taste, and its stalks are more bitter in comparison to the cultivated celery.
Celery is immensely popular as a health food as it is rich in vitamins A, C and E as well as low in calories. The various health benefits of this green vegetable have increased its usage in a variety of cuisines to increase their nutrient content. Wild celery or smallage has been used as medicine since ancient times. The Romans used it for seasoning. Celery is available all the year round, but summer is the best time to eat it when it is in season.
Skin Benefits Of Celery
Being an excellent source of vitamins A, C and E, celery has a great role to play in skin care. Some of celery benefits for skin are given below.
1. Anti-Aging Benefits
- Celery is an important source of vitamins A, C, and E which act as potent antioxidants by reversing and protecting against free radical damage.
- Vitamin A delays signs of aging whereas vitamin E keeps your skin moisturized and hydrated from within.
- Celery is also a good source of skin-friendly minerals like magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and potassium, which keep your skin youthful and glowing.
- The omega 6 fatty acids in celery help in maintaining the elasticity and luminosity of skin.
2. Treatment Of Acne And Pimples
- Topical application of celery helps in delivering vital nutrients directly into the dermal layers, thus nourishing and hydrating skin from deep within.
- If you are suffering from acne and pimples, you can mix some celery juice with a few drops of tea tree and peppermint essential oils.
- Dab a cotton ball and apply it all over your face and neck, and leave it until completely dry.
- Rinse off with warm water. This will not only treat acne and pimples but also remove surface dirt and impurities by clarifying skin deeply.
3. Beneficial For Oily Skin
- Celery can help in reducing oil on your face.
- If you have oily skin, you can take three celery sticks which are properly washed.
- Slice them into small pieces, pour boiling water and cover the concoction.
- Allow it to cool and then refrigerate it.
- This celery juice should be regularly applied to the face at bedtime and rinsed when dry for best results.
4. Removes Dead Cells
- Celery juice prevents skin problems by removing harmful toxins that cause damage to skin cells.
- It also helps in restoring the pH balance of the skin and removes dead cells.
- For this purpose, you can make a celery face pack by adding celery juice, powdered oatmeal, and orange peel powder.
- Apply this mixture all over your face and neck and leave it until completely dry.
- Rinse off by massaging in gentle circular movements and wash off with warm water.
- Applying this regularly will help in removing dead skin cells.
5. Treatment Of Vitiligo
- Vitiligo is a skin disease characterized by white spots.
- The real cause of this disease is unknown, but some research has proved that a herb called Psoralen can stimulate the production of melanin in the body, thus treating vitiligo
- Celery has been found to contain a large amount of psoralen.
- Regular consumption of celery along with moderate sun exposure can help treat vitiligo naturally.
Hair Benefits Of Celery
The rich array of nutrients in celery stalks and leaves help in nourishing the hair follicles. Celery leaves are often processed into shampoo to thicken hair. Thus, this green veggie is beneficial for your hair and can rid you of several scalp problems.
6. Hair Fertilizer
- When applied topically, celery acts as a hair fertilizer by nourishing and thickening your hair.
- To get lush hair, wash and mash 10 to 15 celery stalks.
- After shampooing, apply this on your scalp and hair, and massage well.
- Then wrap your head with a towel and rinse off after half an hour.
This should be done several times a week for best results.
Health Benefits Of Celery
Consuming celery is an excellent way of replenishing your body with vital nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It is considered a power food, offering a variety of celery benefits for health. Celery health benefits include the following:
- Celery is known to contain at least eight families of anti-cancer compounds including acetylenics, phenolic acids, and coumarins which are effective in cancer prevention and boosting cancer-fighting white blood cells.
- Acetylenics have the ability to stop the growth of cancer cells.
- Phenolic acids inhibit prostaglandins that encourage the growth of cancer cells.
- Phytochemical coumarins prevent free radicals from damaging the cells and prevent the formation and development of colon and stomach cancers.
8. Beneficial For Weight Loss
- Adding celery to your diet can greatly support your weight loss program.
- It is low in calories and contains lots of non-soluble fiber (roughage).
- Moreover, a glass of celery juice is an excellent drink with zero calories for dieters. Not only it provides powerful antioxidants to your system but also improves digestion and metabolism. Drinking celery juice with a tablespoon of honey before a meal can reduce your appetite besides being a delightful drink, thus helping in weight reduction.
9. Calms The Nervous System
- The plant hormones present in celery calm and soothe the nervous system.
- The organic alkaline minerals and magnesium help in treating sleeping disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea by combating anxiety and stress.
- Insomniacs are often recommended to drink a glass of celery juice regularly to have a better sleep.
10. Great Diuretic
- The presence of potassium and sodium in celery juice makes it a great diuretic which helps to regulate body fluid and stimulate urine production.
- This powerful drink helps to rid the body of excess fluid.
11. Eliminates Kidney And Gall Bladder Stones
- Celery is a great diuretic, so celery juice is effective in breaking and eliminating kidney and gall bladder stones.
Celery seeds can treat urinary tract infections whereas celery seed extracts help in treating bladder infections.
- Celery promotes healthy and normal kidney function by eliminating toxins from the body and preventing the formation of kidney stones.
12. Lowers Blood Pressure
- The coumarin compound in celery is capable of lowering blood pressure, developing the vascular system and can also be useful in migraines.
- Celery also contains compounds called Phthalides which allow the blood to flow naturally by relaxing the muscle around the arteries and dilating blood vessels.
- BP patients are often advised to drink celery juice every day for a week, stop for three weeks and then start again. This will help in controlling blood pressure to a significant extent.
13. Cures Constipation
- Being a natural laxative, celery helps to relieve constipation.
- It also relaxes the nerves that have been overworked by chemical or store bought laxatives.
14. Cures Indigestion
- The minerals in celery improve digestion by balancing the body’s blood pH and neutralizing acidity, thus preventing stomach ulcers and improving bowel movements
- If you are suffering from indigestion, then it is advisable to take celery juice, celery soup or salad daily for beneficial results.
15. Lowers Cholesterol
Celery juice has proven to be effective in lowering total cholesterol as well as LDL (bad) cholesterol.
16. Relieves Pain And Inflammation
- Celery has been found to be effective in providing relief from pain and inflammation associated with asthma, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and bronchitis.
- Celery and celery seeds are natural sources of COX-2 inhibitors which contain high amounts of apigenin that acts as a painkiller and sedative.
- For this purpose, celery can be consumed as food or freshly crushed celery seeds can be used for making tea.
17. Prevents Colds, Flu, And Pneumonia
- Celery contains antioxidants and other compounds that help fight bacteria, viruses and inflammation.
- Thus it strengthens the immune system, enabling the body to recuperate and fight diseases like cold and flu.
18. Eliminates Bad Breath
- Bad breath is caused due to improper brushing, accumulated food particles, and pungent bacteria.
- Munching a celery stalk regularly can eliminate bad breath by cleansing the bacteria from the back of the tongue.
19. Heals Hay Fever and Allergies
- Celery can heal hay fever and allergy symptoms along with other vegetables like ginger, carrots, parsley, and cabbage.
- Celery should be taken with your daily meals as salad or in the form of celery juice.
20. Alleviates Menopause Symptoms
- The oestrogenic phytochemical anethole present in celery alleviates the symptoms of menopause.
- Those who are suffering from symptoms like hot flashes can try celery.
- Additionally, it can help in preventing heart disease and osteoporosis without the side effects of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) treatment.
21. Prevents Memory Loss
- Celery contains a compound called luteolin, which may reduce plaque-forming proteins in the brain, thus preventing memory loss.
- It is believed to reduce the risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s by counteracting risk factors such as atherosclerosis, inflammation, and oxidative damage.
- It is also helpful in treating neurological diseases and injuries as well as inflammatory diseases like multiple sclerosis.
22. Treatment Of Fungal Infection
Celery is considered a home remedy for treating fungal infections. The strong fungicides present in celery can help to treat fungal infection.
23. Treatment Of Gout
- Gout is caused due to excessive uric acid in the body.
In case of gout, it is advisable to consume a celery stalk or take two celery seeds daily. Drinking celery juice daily is also a good option for gout treatment.
24. Bone Health
Celery seeds can also ensure bone health, since they contain enough calcium. Calcium is necessary for those who want good bones and better teeth. It is also important for children since they need calcium regularly in order to build their bones. Calcium is also needed for muscle contractions. If you don’t get enough calcium on a regular basis, you could develop dangerous diseases such as osteoporosis during the later stages of your life.
Celery seed oil is full of nutrients and volatile compounds that help prevent and cure a myriad of diseases and conditions. Compounds like linoleic acid, coumarins, flavonoids and volatile oils – all help cure diseases.
26. Antibiotic And Antiseptic
Celery seed oil has antibiotic and antiseptic properties, which make it an effective antiseptic alternative to regular medications. The oil can help cure many skin infections, and also cures infections within the body. Herbal experts recommend celery seed oil to cure kidney problems, bladder troubles, and cystitis.
Celery, like some other vegetables, does contain toxins. It contains toxins like psoralens and goitrogens. Psoralens are found naturally in some other plants as well. They can enhance human skin’s sensitivity to the UV rays of the sun. It may lead to the development of skin rashes and dermatitis in people. Skin pigmentation with pain can also occur at times. The goitrogens can lead to the formation of goiters in the throat, leading to eating problems. More worrisome is the fact that some researchers think psoralens can have potentially carcinogenic effects (1).
As a matter of fact, celery is among those vegetables that contain elevated amounts of pesticides and is susceptible to a mold named mycotoxins. Celeries can also get affected by black mold or aflatoxin (2). It has carcinogenic properties, and consumption of mold affected celery can cause side effects like convulsions, abdominal pain, edema and liver damage.
On top of these, findings of a new study have sparked debate on the safety of celery. The study indicates women undergoing hormone replacement therapy may get cancer from eating celery as it contains pure apigenin – a compound that may lead to the onset of cancerous tumors (3). The finding of this study opposes revelations of several studies that indicated that apigenin actually thwarts the growth of cancerous tumors in the human body.
Nutritional Value Of Celery
Whether cooked or raw, celery, like most green vegetables, has a rich nutritional value. Celery comprises of 95% water and is very alkaline and filled with fiber which makes it great for weight loss. It is a good source of phenolic phytonutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These phytonutrients are caffeic acid, caffeoylquinic acid, cinnamic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid, apigenin, luteolin, quercetin, kaempferol, beta-sitosterol, and lunularin. In addition to these, it contains vitamins A, C, B2, B5, and K as well as enzyme promoting molybdenum and manganese. It is also a good source of calcium and magnesium.
|(Note: RDA- Recommended daily allowance) See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:|
|Celery, (Apium graveolens), Fresh, Nutrient value per 100 g (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)|
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||1.12 g||4.5%|
|Dietary Fiber||2.10 g||5.5%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.246 mg||5%|
|Vitamin A||449 IU||15%|
|Vitamin C||3.1 mg||5%|
|Vitamin K||29.3 µg||24%|
- One stalk of celery contains about 35 milligrams of sodium, so it is important to monitor the daily sodium intake while consuming it.
- Celery is low in calories and rich in insoluble fiber (roughage). Celery leaves contain just 16 calories per 100 grams of weight.
- Celery leaves are a good source of flavonoid antioxidants such as zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta –carotene that have anti-cancer and immune boosting functions.
- Celery leaves provide 449 IU or 15% of recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A. This vitamin is a natural flavonoid antioxidant which is vital for the maintenance of healthy mucus membranes and skin as well as eye sight.
- It is also a rich source of folic acid, providing 9% of RDA as well as riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C.
- Fresh celery is rich in vitamin K, providing about 25% of RDA. This vitamin increases bone mass by promoting osteotropic activity.
- In addition to the above nutrients, celery seeds and leaves contain essential volatile oils such as terpenes comprising of limonene (75 to 80%), sesquiterpenes like beta-selinene (10%) and humulene. It also contains chemical compounds like phthalides.
Looking at the health benefits of celery, we are sure you must be heading out to buy your own bunch of celery. Enjoy the good health by consuming and using celery. Stay fit, stay healthy!
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